Betfair Australia has inked an eleventh-hour deal with the National Rugby League (NRL), allowing punters to bet against each other as the season restarts.
The agreement comes despite Betfair’s prediction that its turnover will drop due to its commission being ‘four times more expensive than the AFL’.
Reported by the Sydney Herald, Betfair had previously refused to sign an integrity agreement with the league in protest of increased product fees, having broken off talks with the league in February.
To mitigate the impact of the increased product fees, Betfair has confirmed that it will increase its market base rate from 6% to 10%.
“We applaud the NRL for the incredible work that has gone on during lockdown to secure the NRL’s future and to bring the season back to its fans at the earliest moment possible,” Betfair Australia chief executive Tim Moore-Barton said.
“Unfortunately, their product fee model singles out high volume, low margin operators such as a betting exchange.
“If we kept the commission we charge customers flat on last year we would now be paying over two-thirds of our revenue in product fees – and that’s before other operating costs and taxes (including point of consumption tax) – therefore we have made the difficult decision to increase our commission on NRL to 10%
“The Betfair exchange appeals to customers that want better odds, that want to trade and to winners that can’t get on with fixed odds bookies – and unfortunately when we are forced to increase our commission rates turnover from these customers drops, or stops completely, which is no good for punters, for Betfair or for the NRL.”
The agreement comes as NRL ramps up preparations to resume its 2020 season this weekend, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown.